The first pitch flew and fans went wild at the Moorlands Park Athletic Field opening ceremonies.
The city of Kenmore recently completed renovations and held a grand opening ceremony on March 16, featuring city officials reciting the Little League pledge alongside players and a performance from the First Romanian Pentecostal Church brass band.
“Renovating this ball field has been a goal of ours for many years,” said Kenmore Mayor David Baker. “Thanks to some key partnerships with our legislators, the school district and community groups, it is now a reality. I’m thrilled that our youth athletic programs and Kenmore families have a field they can call their own.”
This field is the first and only field operated by the city and Baker joined local Little League fastpitch softball player Violet Martinez in throwing the first pitch of the field.
The event served as an opportunity for Violet, who has Lymphoma and has begun to lose her hair after recently finishing her second round of chemotherapy, to support the efforts of the community and for the community to encourage her during an important time.
The park was first established as a neighborhood park in the 1940s before eventually ending up under city control following its incorporation. The renovations began in July 2018 and now that the park is complete, it will serve as a playground and field for students at Moorlands Elementary School and local youth ages 12 and younger playing baseball, softball, fastpitch, t-ball and soccer.
“This project packed a lot of improvement into a single park — a fully rebuilt ball field and children’s play area, new sidewalk, restroom, picnic shelter, benches, picnic areas, small stage, interpretive sign, accessible paths and new utilities — without clearing any of its central grove of large native trees,” said parks project manager Ann Stanton. “The renovation took a year to complete and transformed a 75-year-old park.”
According to the city, about 3,000 people live within a 10-minute walk of the park. Recent improvements include 300 feet of sidewalk, walking paths, benches, a picnic shelter, an entirely rebuilt ball field, better drainage, irrigation, bleachers and new utilities including a restroom.
“After 75 years, the ball field and play area were worn, muddy and often unusable [due to] ponds that were referred to as ‘Lake Moorlands’ after rainy weather,” Stanton said.
The park is now playable in wet weather and accessible to a wide range of residents.
“With state financial assistance and the patience and cooperation of park neighbors including the First Romanian Pentecostal Church and Northshore School District’s Moorlands Elementary, Kenmore polished what may be Kenmore’s oldest park into a four-acre gem that retains its beautiful old trees, open lawn and sunrise view over the Cascade Mountains for the enjoyment of the community today and many years into the future,” Stanton said.